Capital Region

High Notes: Union’s fundraiser for late classmate, big donation to children’s ER

Spotlighting the good being done in our communities
A memorial ceremony is held Oct. 12, 2017, at Nott Memorial for Union College sophomore Alexander Askenazy.
A memorial ceremony is held Oct. 12, 2017, at Nott Memorial for Union College sophomore Alexander Askenazy.

In Albany, a Halfmoon couple is pledging to donate up to $200,000 toward the construction costs of the new children’s emergency department at Albany Medical Center. Angelo and Janice Pastizzo will match every dollar raised through April 30 for the Massry Family Children’s Emergency Center, up to $200,000. The couple is making the donation in honor of their grandchildren. The $50 million, four-story center, being located next to the existing emergency department, is designed to better meet the specific needs of children and their families facing emergency situations. It will offer a full range of pediatric specialists, as well as a triage unit, special private rooms for kids and parents, an x-ray machine with special precautions for children, a game/TV room for kids, kid-sized equipment, a 23-hour observation room and other amenities. When it opens this summer, it will be the only pediatric emergency center in northeastern New York and western New England. The center is named after the Massry Family, which has donated $5 million to the project. The hospital is about $14.5 million into a $20 million fundraising campaign. For more information on the center and to donate, click here.

In Schenectady, Union College students helped raise more than $6,500 for research into epilepsy in honor of a classmate who died from the disease. To raise money, friends of Alexander Askenazy and the college’s Alpha Phi Omega coed service fraternity hosted a Skate for Alex at Messa Rink. Askenazy, a biochemistry major and a member of the Class of 2020, died in October in his residence hall at the age of 19 from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, a rare complication of epilepsy that affects about 1 in 1,000 adults in the U.S. each year. Money raised will go to Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy in honor of Askenazy, and students plan to hold a second-annual skating event next year. About 1 in 26 people in America will develop epilepsy during their lifetimes. For more information on the disease and to donate to the cause, visit

High Notes is a feature of The Gazette Opinion section that appears every Monday to spotlight the good being done in our communities by individuals, organizations and businesses. Reader submissions to High Notes are welcome. Send suggestions to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected].

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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